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Sarah Meyers Brent and Jodi Colella at Suffolk University Gallery

  • Suffolk University Gallery 8 Ashburston Place Boston, MA 02108 (map)

The notion of the 19th century American Sublime has its roots in European Romanticism. Contemporary artists have many reasons to eschew the notion of the sublime, yet it persists today. Perhaps we need something beyond ourselves and beyond the circumstances that we find our world to be in. Artists internalize that world and address issues either overtly or subtly in their work. Sometimes awesome. Sometimes beautiful. Sometimes terrible. The artists in this two-person exhibit, each express an aspect of the sublime. Sarah Meyers Brent renders beauty from the excess and the grotesque, while Jodi Colella gives power to under-appreciated labor or hand work.

Sarah Meyers Brent’s work pushes the boundaries of beauty and ugliness in visceral, living works that traverse painting, sculpture and installation. Utilizing heavily impastoed paint, recycled fabric, foam, decaying flowers, dirt and vines; her mixed media pieces flow out of and accrete to the canvas and walls. There is a richness to these materials, which are otherwise considered trash. They are combined as ingredients with which to sculpt and paint, ultimately arriving at a form that is simultaneously growing and decaying. The results aspire to and become something beautiful.

Balancing tradition and innovation Jodi Colella uses needlework to infuse power to craft traditions often dismissed as feminine. There is a presence of the maker in the shape of thousands of stitches, hand-wrought forms. Found objects – the everyday and invisible – are reworked and repurposed; the psychological is made physical in the way that one form materializes from another. She draws from historical and cultural experiences that extend from her own neighborhood to time spent in the Far East and many places in between. Recent work investigates the complex, often entangled qualities of power, emergence and fear – particularly the forces that have historically shaped women's identities and place in society

Earlier Event: June 8
Wilhelm Neusser at Fruitlands Museum
Later Event: June 13
José Rivera at the deCordova